A scathing new report from the law firm Barnes & Thornburg found the Virginia Military Institute has a long track record of racist incidents and sexual harassment, including multiple incidents of racial slurs being used against Black cadets, The Washington Post reports. Hearing the n-word and other racist language was a “common experience” at VMI, according to the troubling 102-page investigation which was ordered by the state and released on Monday evening.
The law firm spoke with multiple women who recalled a staff member walking in on female cadets while they were changing despite the fact that they’d closed the curtains to signal that they needed privacy. Separately, one woman who was harassed said she believed her harasser didn’t see any consequences because he was “the son of a prominent graduate.” The woman graduated from VMI around 10 years ago. “In brief, VMI is deeply troubled by the accounts detailed in the report,” a spokesperson said. “Reported allegations of racism and sexual improprieties are immediately investigated by the Institute. If found to be substantiated, action is taken.”